By: Sam Doak
November 22 2022
The video promising this compensation is a deepfake designed to scam viewers out of cryptocurrency.
On November 11, FTX declared bankruptcy. A few days earlier, the troubled cryptocurrency exchange had frozen customer withdrawals, leaving many unable to recoup significant sums of money invested through their platform.
Shortly after FTX declared bankruptcy, a video began circulating which featured an individual that resembled FTX's founder and former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. In this footage, the speaker tells viewers, “As you know, our FTX exchange is going bankrupt, but I hasten to inform all users that you should not panic. As compensation for the loss, we have prepared a giveaway for you in which you can double your cryptocurrency.”
The video concludes with viewers being directed to a website purporting to facilitate the promised giveaway. It was initially circulated on Twitter by a user who had purchased a verification mark on the platform.
The video promising a giveaway to customers of FTX does not feature Sam Bankman-Fried or anybody affiliated with the exchange. It is instead a deepfake – a digitally manipulated video – and shows a computer-generated likeness of Bankman Fried. This video was designed with the intent of defrauding FTX customers. The video refers viewers to a website, inviting them to send cryptocurrency to anonymous wallets, and it is overwhelmingly likely that any funds sent through this channel will be lost to consumers.
Sam Bankman-Fried is no longer CEO of FTX, having been replaced by John Ray. He is, therefore, in no position to offer customers refunds or any kind of compensation. Under current laws, FTX’s creditors and investors are due to recoup funds before exchange users. This process is unlikely to conclude in the near future, and it is unlikely customers will be able to recover the full value of their holdings.
The video promising refunds to customers of FTX is a deepfake and does not, in fact, show Sam Bankman-Fried. Bankman-Fried is no longer in any position to offer customer compensation, having lost control of the business. This claim has therefore been marked as false.